Odd Bits

Gone fishin’

September 29, 2015

I’m up to my knees in the rushing waters of history right now.  Once I climb out, dry off, and have a reviving shot of whiskey or three,  I’ll be back in here in the Margins with new stories.  I promise.

Read the full article →

Art + History+ Artist

September 18, 2015

Two years ago and a bit, I shared a link with you about a video series produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art  in which curators talked about how individual pieces in the museum had changed the way they see the world.  It was charming and smart and in a short enough format that I […]

Read the full article →

Reading My Way Through Roman Britain, Part 3

September 15, 2015

British journalist Charlotte Higgins (It’s All Greek To Me) was always fascinated by the classical world, but that fascination didn’t extend to Roman Britain. She thought of Britain as an unglamorous outpost on the edge of the Roman Empire–an opinion shared by most Romans of the time-. A visit to Hadrian’s Wall changed her mind. […]

Read the full article →

Reading My Way Through Roman Britain, Part 2

September 11, 2015

Guy de la Bédoyère’s The Real Lives Of Roman Britain: A History of Roman Britain Through The Lives of Those Who Were There is not a narrative history of Roman Britain. (De la Bédoyère has already written several versions of that narrative.) It is instead an attempt to look at the 360 years of Roman […]

Read the full article →

Reading My Way Through Roman Britain, Part 1

September 8, 2015

Thanks to the luck of the book-review draw, I recently ended up reading two books on Roman Britain back-to-back.* The two books are very different. Guy de la Bédoyère’s The Real Lives of Roman Britain is an attempt to look at the period of Roman occupation in terms of individual human experience–a frustrating endeavor because […]

Read the full article →

Death in Florence

September 4, 2015

My first encounter with Girolamo Savonarola’s attempt to scourge Florence of religious corruption was George Eliot’s historical novel Romola, which I read in tiny bites as a distraction from historical history during my first year of graduate school. It was lush, dramatic, and exactly what I needed as I struggled with semiotics, deconstructionism, post-colonial theory, […]

Read the full article →

And we have a winner!

September 1, 2015

As usual, a book drawing here on the Margins brought out interesting answers, including memories of earlier trips to Iceland and an introduction to the breathtaking photography of Jamie Young, which makes my efforts look like a toddler’s scribbles.*  As usual, I’m glad we pick a winner in a totally random way. And our totally […]

Read the full article →

Independence Lost:

August 28, 2015

Those of you who’ve been hanging out in the Margins for a while now know there are some types of history books that can be counted on to make me say “I want to read this”: Books that tell a story we think we know from a radically different persepctive Books that deal with people […]

Read the full article →

In which I give away a copy of Song of the Vikings

August 25, 2015

Over the last few weeks, the topic of Nancy Marie Brown’s Song of the Vikings has come up once or twice here on the Margins. (Okay, more than once or twice.) Some of you may have broken down and bought a copy. For those of you who haven’t, I am pleased to announce that I […]

Read the full article →

Road Trip Through History: 871 +/-2

August 21, 2015

In 2001, an Icelandic construction crew was excavating a basement for a new hotel in the historic district of Reykjavik when they made a major archaeological discovery which included not only the oldest relics of human habitation in the area, which date from before the “official” settlement day of 871CE, plus or minus a year […]

Read the full article →